Sailor Moon Aeons.
Book 1: The Senshi of dawn.
Act 4: Silver Dusk.
Episode 23: Camelot.
By Razor Knight
Last update: January 28, 2013.
The invasion had been both silent, and swift. Most of the Earth was under Beryl's control now, but she knew Camelot would be a different matter. "We cannot attack yet."
'I would normally agree, had I not found something unexpected while inspecting our soldiers.'
"What do you mean?"
'There's a small group of our youma which have an incredible latent talent for magic. I will try to tap on that power and see what happens.'
"Could that give us away?"
'Even if the Senshi do detect these youma, they will not be able to track them back to us. Trust me, Beryl, this is worth waiting for, these seven creatures can become as strong as the Generals, if not stronger.'
Beryl thought about it for a moment, then smiled. "That does sound good. As soon as you're done with that, we'll attack Camelot."
'I can hardly wait,' Metallia said. The young Sailor Earth had attacked first last time they met, but Metallia wouldn't make the same mistake again.
When Pluto called all of the Younger Senshi to a meeting, Kione knew it most likely meant she would tell them what they were training for. But she had no way to know exactly what that was. And like most of the girls, she couldn't quite believe it.
"You're telling us we need to let Beryl win?"
Pluto looked at Gea. "I've already explained it all to you. We must wait for them in the Moon, and strike them when they show up. If we manage to weaken Beryl enough, then..."
Gea growled in frustration. "You tell me I have to let Camelot be destroyed? I already lost my mother, I will not-"
"The Earth's already lost, many have been turned into youma, and once Beryl stops hiding, then countless humans will die. But if everything works as planned, then we will win in the end."
"If what that second Nanna said is true, the alternative will still be as bad," Kione commented. Sure, she wasn't eager to let thousands die to win a war, but she could see Pluto's point.
"I don't care!" Gea shouted. "You girls stay up here and wait for Beryl if you want. I'm going to go defend my home. I always wanted to be a Senshi, but we're supposed to protect humans, not... Not let them die for naught."
Pluto frowned at that. "Right, let me tell you what else I saw, and then you can decide. I've seen a third alternative, one in which Beryl and all her Generals are killed, but mankind dies out in a relatively short time. Mankind is out of challenges, and will soon become stagnant, if it has not yet become so.
Kione remembered something she had read. "Sounds like what happened with the Golden Imperium."
"That's not just a legend, and yes, the Imperium was doomed even before the Kh'sun attacked. Gala made her choice, and it wasn't an easy one to make. Save the Imperium, and watch it wither away and die, or let countless worlds die just so mankind could start over and try again."
Gea shook her head. "That's a nice history lesson, and I do understand what you're saying. I'm still going to go back to Earth, and wait for Beryl there."
"I knew that," Pluto noted with a humorless smile, "or at least that was one of the outcomes of this meeting." She looked at all the girls in turns. "If anyone else agrees with Gea and thinks Camelot can still be saved, then I suggest you go with her."
"I thought you needed every Senshi here."
"I don't, and I would rather have everyone do what they think is best. Even if you can't stop Beryl, you may save many lives, and you may weaken her soldiers."
Fujin and Mazu stared at each other for a few seconds, then Mazu smiled at Gea. "We will help you protect Camelot."
Kisin seemed as emotionless as always, but behind that facade, she was worried of what would happen if Beryl wasn't stopped. "Won't Beryl attack the other worlds?"
Pluto shook her head. "She thinks eliminating the strongest Senshi first will make it easier to kill the others."
"Then I will stay, and protect Serenity."
"I'll go to Earth," Nadia said. "I can't believe Neir is gone for good."
"I'll defend Camelot too," Bisha said. "But wait, what about the Elders?"
"The Queens will all be coming to the Moon to congratulate Princess Nanna when she, officially, receives her powers."
"I find it hard to believe that we could lose, with all of them gathering here," Asteria commented.
"There will be other factions helping us," Pluto said, "the Demon Hunters have been warned about a possible attack on the Moon on that day, although I did not explain everything to them, and also..."
"Xypher will bring his 'trading' ships to the party," Kione guessed.
"Yes, and he's already told me he knew something fishy was happening in Arcadia. However, one thing you must remember, is that Beryl doesn't know we are aware of her plans, and it must remain that way. Don't speak to anyone outside our group about this, it could change things for the worst."
"Mira, Circe, Calisto, stay in Camelot. I'm sending you some of the best Hunters."
"But Prime Hunter-" Calisto started.
"I have a feeling the Senshi aren't telling us everything," Orion said, interrupting the woman. "Beryl would not attack the Moon before Camelot, an easier and closer target. I would hate to ignore this theory and be right, and if nothing happens before the suspected attack on Silver Millenium starts, you can still get there in minutes, at most."
"Understood. Good luck, Orion."
"Good luck to you too, I'm sure we'll all need it."
'As you can see, these creatures are far stronger than we expected. Each of them is up to par with an Eternal Senshi.'
Beryl looked at the seven creatures. It was amazing that youma, which were mere products of Metallia's meddling with human beings, could become that strong. And yet, she was sensing it, the cloaked power of these beings. "And what do you call them?"
'Rainbow Youma. I'm sure you'll understand why, but there's another thing. They can combine their power to become something else, a being stronger than even all the Generals combined.'
"Amazing. So, they're ready to go, I assume?"
'Just give the word,' Metallia's voice said, and the tone made clear she was eager to attack.
"Tomorrow is Princess Serenity's birthday. After the party, they will awaken her powers. Even untrained and unexperienced, a Moon Senshi is a Moon Senshi."
'I see what you're saying. We need to kill her before her powers awaken.'
"Yes. Tomorrow, we attack Camelot, and then we'll lead our army to the Moon and defeat the Senshi in one single blow."
Gea sat on the wall of the highest tower of Castle Camelot, watching the sunrise. True, it wasn't quite befitting a Princess to be up there, but she was as fond of protocol as all the other Princess, and also, it wasn't like a fall would kill her, or even harm her.
"Gea, what's the matter?"
She turned back and saw Endymion looking back at her. "I couldn't sleep."
"You've been acting strange for days, and it's not just because of..." Endymion trailed off, he knew he didn't need to say it.
"It's nothing." Nothing I can tell him, she thought with a mental frown.
"You're a bad liar."
Gea sighed. "It's a Senshi thing, I am not supposed to tell you."
Endymion turned to leave, but stopped right in front of the stairway. "Prince Kuras visited us the other day. You were in the Moon so you didn't see him."
The girl leapt from her makeshift seat, landing perfectly besides her brother. "What? What did he want?"
"It was just a diplomatic meeting," Endymion said, "but he was different. I've been friends with him for years, but he was not acting quite as I expected."
Kuras had already fallen under Beryl's control, and Gea knew this. Still, she couldn't say a thing about that. "I don't-"
"Gea, stop that."
"I told you, I can't say a thing!"
"So there is something going on, but you won't let me help you. Is that it?"
Gea shook her head. She knew it, in a few hours the youma would attack, and for what it was worth, she didn't want her brother to be mad at her right now. "Okay, I'll tell you. Beryl's taken over most of the Earth already. We didn't realize in time, and now we're preparing to stop her when she shows her true colors."
Endymion's face went from upset to surprise in seconds. "So Kuras was..."
"He's no longer Kuras. Beryl's using a strange, unknown magic, it turns humans into something else. They may act like they always do, and may look human on the outside, but they're Beryl's pawns."
"So that's what you were worried about, then."
"It's more than that. They'll attack Camelot too."
"Then we need to warn father, to prepare-"
"It's too late, they'll attack today," Gea explained.
"And if they win here..." Endymion looked up to the sky. "I'll help you stop the youma."
"No. You were planning on going to the Princess' birthday party. Go."
"I can't leave you here on your own..."
Gea smiled at that. "On my own? Several Senshi will help me, and I know of three Demon Hunters who are also aware of the threat."
"Sister... Just promise me you'll be alright."
The girl looked down. "I can't do that. You said it yourself, I'm a bad liar."
"We are ready, Queen Beryl."
"Good. We march to Camelot now, and after we're done there, the Moon awaits!"
Kunzite turned and stared at the army. Thousands of creatures, each stronger than any non-mage in the system. And there were more out there, in every other kingdom of Earth, waiting for the signal to be given.
"Tonight we end the Senshi's rule, and start our own. By tomorrow, the people of this system will not bow to Silver Millenium anymore, but to Arcadia!"
The assorted cheers and growls of the youma army could be heard from quite a distance, but there was no man left to hear them in the queendom of Arcadia.
Gea was still on the tower when she spotted them. It was like staring at a wave in the ocean, she had never seen so many beings charging as one. She heard the soldiers down there shouting warnings and orders, but she knew most of the damage to the incoming army would be done by her group.
Gea turned and nodded at Uranus. "It's time." As she turned into her Senshi form, she turned to the side again, to the incoming horde. "Have the Demon Hunters arrived yet?"
An explosion rocked the area, and Neptune shrugged. "I suppose they did."
Earth smiled. "Time to show these youma what Senshi can do. Pluto's visions or not, I'm mot giving up on my world yet!"
Lilith didn't bother checking, she knew youma were easily dealt with. Almost too easily. True, there were thousands of them, but she had been killing monsters for half an hour, and had yet to feel the strain. Maybe Pluto was wrong, maybe they could win this after all.
A large, humanoid youma floated calmly towards her. It had no legs, instead moving on a trail of smoke, as orange as its body was. Lilith could feel the power this creature had, and her hopes died down almost instantly. "What is..."
"I am one of the Rainbow Youma, Beryl's strongest. I was told I had to face one of the strongest warriors of the enemy army... But if that's you, then this army's doomed."
Lilith didn't bother following his game. "Tempest Illusion!"
The area around the youma turned into a thunderstorm, and lightning struck it several times, but the creature didn't seem to notice. "Amusing, you use illusions, just like me. But let me show you how it's done."
Lilith realized what the creature meant a split second too late. Everything around her became red with flames, and she screamed in pain. She knew it was an illusion, but for her mind it was all too real. No, she couldn't defeat this creature, she had to get some help.
The youma sighed as her target vanished. Apparently, the girl was smarter than he thought, and knew she couldn't win. But it was just a matter of finding her again.
Endymion walked into the throne room, and saw his father talking to one of the army's commanders.
"Father, we must leave."
"Leave? I won't abandon my people!"
Endymion saw the commander's eyes change, and reacted as quickly as the man acted. "They're not our people anymore," he said as the commander's head rolled away from them.
The king saw the man's corpse vanish. "What was that?"
"Monsters, led by Beryl. Gea warned me about them, but I was almost too late."
"We have to stay and..."
"No, we need to go to the Moon Kingdom. The Senshi are getting ready to stop Beryl."
"What about Gea?"
"She'll join us there," Endymion said. Unlike his sister, he could tell some pretty convincing lies when he had to.
Neptune and Uranus were actually enjoying the fight. They had quickly become friends, and more than that, and had trained enough to be able to cover up each other's weaknesses in battle. So, the youma had no chance against them. And if they were having an easy time, Neptune thought, then Gea should have killed as many youma as them both, if not more.
They both heard the growl, and both turned to see a large, lizard-like winged creature. "That's a new one," Uranus commented.
Neptune analyzed the monster. It was easily ten meters tall, its claws larger than a man, and its scales were a sickly violet color. "It's far stronger than the other youma."
"Then it will be a challenge," Uranus said before jumping straight at it.
Mira was rather disappointed at this enemy. Its numbers were impressive, but the individual power of each creature was downright negligible. She was leading a total of ten Hunters, but they were more than enough to keep the enemy at bay. "Orion was right, I suppose, but if this is Beryl's best, then-"
"Fortunately for us, it is not."
Mira looked at the newcomers. The one who had spoken was... No, it couldn't be! "Princess Aurora?"
"Aurora? That woman is no more. I am Aurite, one of Beryl's Generals."
Mira knew that woman alone was powerful, but the man standing besides her wasn't any weaker. Prince Jaden of Nirvana. "Hunters, forget about the youma, focus on these two!"
A barrage of attacks shot at the two, but they didn't as much as stagger back. "Boring. Is that really all the fabled Demon Hunters can do?"
Circe and Calisto looked at each other for a moment. Few Hunters could handle the strongest spells of their group, and they were amongst them. "Guess we can't play soft against these freaks," Circe said.
"Agreed!" Calisto shouted as they both leapt to their foes, swords drawn.
Mira had been about to attack, but smiled as she heard the two shouting "Demon Sword!" The area lit up with energy for several seconds, but as the light dimmed, Mira's smile faded.
"Huh? Dead already?" Aurite mocked. The remaining Hunters (except for Mira) attacked them, and she turned to her ally. "Jadeite, take care of them."
Mira saw Jadeite shoot some kind of dark beam, which split and hit all the Hunters. All but her. These two were aware she was stronger than the others. They were taunting her. And they had killed all her allies... Her two friends. She couldn't forgive them for that. She wouldn't forgive them. She rose her hands, and her sword lit up. "Demon Sword... Chaos Edge!"
When the light dimmed (and it took it several more seconds this time around,) Aurite noticed two things. One, their last foe in the area was down. And two... She coughed up some blood and winced. "I suppose letting her attack first wasn't wise, in hindsight."
Jadeite was kneeling on the ground, trying to recover his breath. "I agree. Think the other pests will be hard to deal?"
"They're Senshi, that's a given. But we can beat them."
Aurite was, however, surprised at finding Senshi here, other than the Earth Senshi. Did that mean the enemy knew of their plans? No, if they knew, they would have gathered all their forces in Camelot, instead of gathering on the Moon. Most likely, the other Senshi and these Hunters were just passing by.
And yet, a part of her mind told her that things could become quite hectic if her first theory was true. She would have to tell Beryl about it.
Nemesis leaned on a wall, holding her arm. She could see Castle Camelot in the distance, burning. Was this really how things were meant to happen? She knew youma were surrounding her, but she had no energy left to fight. And the youma weren't the real threat to her. She looked at the man staring at her and felt her eyes watering. "Neir."
"I am no longer Neir, but Nephrite. I'm going to give you one last chance, Nadia. Join me, become one of us."
"Then you must die. Sorry." Those were the last words Nemesis heard before a wave of dark energy washed over her.
"Good job, Nephrite. I must say I didn't think you would be able to do it."
"My duty to our Queen is all that matters to me now, Zoicite."
Zoicite shrugged. "In any case, we're almost done here. Two Senshi left to defeat, Metallia herself is making sure they will not survive."
"Good. Only the Moon is left."
Earth glared at the crowd surrounding her defiantly. She wasn't afraid of the normal youma, she had shown them she could take care of a hundred of them in seconds. The seven large youma were a different matter. Lilith had been hurt badly by one of them, and Earth knew Neptune and Uranus were...
"How amusing, I didn't think I would meet you again so soon."
She looked at the black cloud now floating above the seven youma. "Metallia."
"Surprised to see me?"
"Not at all. Beryl's horrible at lying, and you were too easily defeated."
"It's all pointless now, girl. You will die, your kingdom will burn, and the same will happen to every other world in this system."
"I may die, but I plan on taking some of your soldiers with me."
"I doubt it," Metallia said. "Rainbow Youma, destroy them!"
Earth rose her arms, and seven massive boulders appeared floating above her. "Just try," she said aiming her hands in the youma's general direction, and each boulder shot at one of them.
Earth winced at that. Lilith hadn't only used mana for that attack. "Bisha, why..."
The combined attack hit the seven creatures, and they didn't seem quite fit to fight anymore. Metallia growled at that. "Damn it, I'm going to..."
"Save your energy, you'll need it to heal your youma," Beryl said.
"What are you planning, Beryl?" Metallia asked.
"Look at her. She put a lot of energy in that stunt, and she knows all her allies are gone now. Generals!"
The Generals all appeared in front of Beryl. "At your command," Kunzite said.
"Kill Sailor Earth."
Earth frowned. "Don't think you've won yet."
Kunzite smiled coldly at her. "As far as you're concerned, we have."
Earth gave a battlecry and run to her foes, her hands lighting up with energy. She felt every muscle protesting as she run, and she knew she would probably die after attacking, but she was still going to get them. She had to kill at least the Generals, that way she... Earth stopped and looked down at the crystal blade coming out of her chest. "Damn..."
Aurite smiled as the girl slumped down to the ground, unmoving. "It's done."
Beryl looked up to the sky. Even in daylight, the moon was still visible, taunting her. And she would be sitting upon the Moon's throne by the end of the day.
A/N: Ah, nothing like writing death scenes to make you feel good.
Yeah, that was sarcasm.
Next chapter will be the last of the Silver Millenium arc, but not the last of the book. And that's all I'm going to say about it before I'm done with this arc.